4 Rules for STANding Up to Bullying

When bullying is disguised as friendship, it often takes us by surprise.  It is helpful for young people to commit the 4 Rules for STANding up to Bullying to memory, so that when bullying occurs, they know just what to do.


1.     Show Strength

  • Whenever you encounter bullying, it is important to Show Strength. 
  • Showing strength does not mean flexing muscles or challenging a bully to arm wrestle.  Rather, you can show your inner strength by using a confident, even voice and standing an appropriate distance from the bully (not in their face, not shrinking back)  Making eye contact is one of the best ways that you can show your inner strength to someone else.


2.      Tell an Adult

  •  Some bullies kick, punch, hit, and do other things that easily attract adult attention.  When bullying is disguised as friendship, however, it is usually done so quietly that most adults don’t even know what is going on.  That is part of what makes girl bullying so hurtful and troublesome. 
  • When someone is repeatedly gossiping about you, leaving you out, teasing you, or bullying you in any way, it is important that you explain to a trustworthy adult what is happening.
  • Some girls worry that they will be called a tattletale if they tell an adult what is going on.  Guess what?  That is exactly what the bully wants you to think!  The bully is hoping to make you feel all alone and powerless.  When you tell an adult about what is happening and get their support, you take your voice back.  Telling an adult is one of the most important and powerful things you can do


3.      Assert Yourself

  • Use words to express your feelings in a direct and respectful way.
  • Check out the Assertive Phrases to Stop Bullying page for ideas on quick, to-the-point phrases that can stop bullies in their tracks.
  • When you assert yourself, you make it clear that you have a strong voice and know how to express yourself directly and powerfully.


4.      Now!

  • One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are up against a bully is to ignore repeated bullying and hope that the problem will go away.  Bullying usually becomes more serious when the bully realizes that her victim is not going to STANd up for herself.
  • STANding up to the bully sooner rather than later is the best way to keep a strong and powerful voice.




The 4 Rules for STANding Up to Bullying are excerpted from Session 5 of Friendship & Other Weapons: Group Activities to Help Young Girls Aged 5-11 to Cope with Bullying.  For more information on the 4 Rules or activity ideas on how to teach these rules to kids, please check out Friendship & Other Weapons on this site or on amazon.com.

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